13

In Return of the Jedi, Luke takes a blaster (using the Force) before falling into the Rancor pit. When he is next shown - now in the the Rancor pit - he no longer has the blaster. However, it doesn't appear that he drops it on the way down in the previous shot. So, what happened to the blaster? Is this a mistake that was made in production?

(The part that I am talking about is from around 24:46 to around 25:00 in the 2011 release of the special edition.)

19

Luke evidently dropped it. It's in his hand when the trapdoor opens and not in his hand a couple of seconds later when he exits the chute. Since it's not seen again, we can reasonably assume that it got stuck in the chute somehow.


Interestingly the various novelisation sources we have available seem to be in disagreement with what happened to it next; The new (canon) junior novelisation doesn't mention it at all. The (original) junior novel baldly states that he lost it.

Jabba’s dais slid forward across the floor, sealing the trapdoor. Tumbling through the hole, Luke lost the blaster. He landed amidst the skeletal remains of various creatures.

The Star Wars Radio Dramatization has a line of dialogue to explain its absence when the scene changes.

Threepio: [Off] Where is your blaster, Master Luke?

Luke: Lost it on the way down. I don't see it anywhere.

Whereas the Official Novelisation has an entire (now Legends since it doesn't agree with the film) sequence where the guard picks the gun up and it and the guard get eaten by the rancor. This was apparently inspired by the sequence in the earlier version of the script. When the guard's actions were changed from scared but brave to outright cowardice, they evidently forgot to account for the location of the blaster or just plain thought that audiences wouldn't notice/care.

The guard picked up the pistol from the dirt where it had fallen and began firing laser bursts at the hideous monster. This only made the beast angrier. It lumbered toward the guard.

The guard kept firing. Ignoring the laser blasts, the beast grabbed the hysterical guard, popped him into its slavering jaws, and swallowed him in a gulp. The audience above cheered, laughed, and threw coins.

and

24. INT. RANCOR PIT
Luke manages to get to his feet. The guard is yelling for help. The young Jedi looks up to see a crowd gathering around the edge of the pit and a metal gate slams closed above him. A second door in the side of the pit starts to rumble open. The guard panics and starts to scream. Luke calmly looks around for a means to escape. Out of the side passage emerges a giant brown fanged RANCOR. The guard finds his pistol and starts firing at the hideous beast; which only seems to make it more furious, as it comes at the two men.

In a sudden burst of energy, Luke jumps twenty feet straight up and grabs on to the overhead grate. The crowd is at first startled, and then starts booing at Luke, as he makes his way hand over hand to the side wall, where he wedges himself into a corner. As the guard continues to fire at the monster, it picks up the unfortunate man and pops him into its slavering jaws. A few screams, and the guard has been swallowed. The audience's cheers turn to jeers as Luke struggles to maintain his grip. His foot slips and he dangles helplessly over the howling beast.

Revenge of the Jedi: Revised Rough Draft

  • 8
    For the record, I've also checked the Star Wars in 100 Scene factbook, the Inside the Worlds factbook, Star Wars Golden books, Little Golden book, Random House Reader, Read-Along Storybook, 6-Stories-in-1 junior reader, 5 Minute Star Wars Stories, 2016 graphic novel, Original Trilogy webcomic, ROTJ Manga, ROTJ Tokyopop graphic novel and the 1983 Marvel ROTJ "Official" Comic. None of them have anything useful. – Valorum Nov 29 '17 at 8:54
  • 2
    @ThePopMachine - If a thing's worth doing, it's worth doing properly. – Valorum Nov 29 '17 at 18:08
  • I've gone ahead and marked your answer as correct! Thanks for the detailed explanation. It does seem weird that the non-film versions of the story have wildly different versions of what happened. But I imagine that that's not uncommon. – 1dareu2mov3 Nov 29 '17 at 21:19
  • 1
    @1dareu2mov3 - I've tracked down the source. It would appear that the novelisation was based on the final draft of "Revenge of the Jedi" rather than the shooting script. That would account for the slight differences. – Valorum Nov 29 '17 at 21:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.